This is certainly not something that my generation does; that is, self-denial and the sacrificing of - well, anything. It's not how we were raised, and it's not how we roll. And yet, if we are going to get anywhere in life, if we are going to rise above those who came before us, then we need to learn and appreciate these kinds of steps to self-sufficiency.
I've brought up the issue of my generation before; especially how it seems to be the societal expectation that we will fail to be better than the generation before. It's always been that the new generation outdoes the generation before, and yet for some reason we're expected to fail. Where does that idea come from? Perhaps it's better to ask how my generation got to the point that it is now. Let's ask some questions, and in the answering of those questions maybe we'll come to some answers, and along the way, you'll see why I arrived at my decision to forgo my blog and Facebook for 40 days.
Who are we?
We are the generation born mostly in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Who were our parents?
What sorts of values did our parents try to instill in us?
Gonna have to use a very broad generational brush here, but they believed in philosophies of "instant gratification", "sex, drugs, and rock and roll", "turn on, tune in, drop out", and "finding themselves". In short, it was a philosophy of self-centeredness. This is what they tried to instill in us when they weren't shipping us off to the non-custodial parent, to our grandparents, aunts or uncles, or most commonly, to daycare.
What did all that do for us?
We very much instilled the self-centered values of our parents, and without the sort of foundational upbringing that they grew up with, which at least taught some of the benefits of forestalling gratification today in order to enjoy an even better tomorrow. This meant that we had no point of reference of what went wrong with our plans, and we don't have a clue on how to fix it.
So what is the result of that?
We have tons of stuff; more stuff than we'll ever need. And yet our bank accounts are empty because we spend as soon as we get paid, and the only retirement plan we have is Social Security and the lotto. Not only that, we have no plans for the more distant future, while short term plans involve sex and booze.
What does that do for us emotionally, psychologically, socially, spiritually, etc.?
It means that we are stunted in all those ways. We can't handle obstacles to whatever plans we do end up making, and we are psychologically devastated at any sort of rejection because we take it personally. Romance for our generation is crude sexual references of our genitals, and getting sexually transmitted diseases is considered a rite of passage. Spirituality? HA! We may claim a belief in some deity, but this deity is non-demanding and non-committal, because to make any demands for worship or commitments to a faith community would interfere with our weekend plans to get drunk and fuck our brains out.
And that's my generation. After such an assessment, it's no wonder that other generations believe that we are doomed to failure. Like every generation, we didn't control how we were brought up, but also like every generation, we can control how and where we go from here. I, for my part, refuse to accept that we are doomed for failure. The path to take us there is not going to be easy. In fact, it's going to be the hardest thing we've ever done. There will be pain, heartache, and plenty of doubt and tears.
But friends, it WILL be SO worth it to get this done, and to get it done right. Trust me on this.
First step, we have to break away from our parents' self-centered philosophies, and we start that by abandoning their liberal ideologies, which is the source of their self-centered philosophies. Historically, over the course of our nation's history, the ideological pendulum has swung back and forth (and rightfully so!), but the baby boomers have rigged the pendulum to stay stuck on their side. Right now, they have control, and they don't want to relinquish it. Thus, they will do anything to keep control and to keep the pendulum stuck on their side, because in truth they are afraid of what will happen once they relinquish control.
But our generation, future generations, and the further growth of our country depends on the pendulum swinging again like it's supposed to. Baby boomers have had their day and are in the beginnings of their decline, while this day is ours, and we should be ascending into our rightful place in society. If only we weren't so afraid to do so!
Simple mortality guarantees that baby boomers will one day relinquish control, but we can't wait that long if we are going to be any good at running things once the pendulum starts swinging again. The time to start learning what to do is now. What we can't do is fall back on our parents' example. We already saw what that did to us, so why would we subject that to our own kids? No, for better or for worse, we are going to need to take the bumps and bruises that come with refusing to repeat our parents' mistakes - no matter how comforting and uncomplicated following their failed, self-centered examples may be.
So that's where I'm at. I know what needs to be done and what the end result should look like, what I don't know is how to do that; that is, I don't know exactly how to get from Point A to Point B. But that's a good thing, really, because it means that I won't be following some formulaic path that has failed before. We as a generation need to get away from failed philosophies, which means that I must do the same. None of that "finding myself" or "spirit journey" jazz. That's so last millennium!
The idea of foregoing my blog and Facebook came to me because it gave me a clue as to what might help. I love blogging and posting to FB. Yet, in all honesty, if I don't know what to do with it and how to use its advantages to maximum benefit, then it's really just a distraction from learning what I need to do. Thus, I will step away from it, and perhaps during the time away, I'll learn what I need to do. As I said at the start, my generation doesn't do self-denial and the sacrificing of anything. That's why I need to try giving up my blog and FB. I hope that makes sense.
If you need to contact me, then I can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll at least check that once a week, but otherwise I'm gonna be gone bye-bye.
While I am gone, I hope that all of you take care. In other words, be excellent to each other. :-)
And last, for all the baby boomers out there, I enclose the video below from your halcyon days - especially those of you who are parents to the current generation. Since you're the most educated generation in history, I'll let you utilize that towering intellect and massive brain power to figure out why I chose this particular video. :-)
See you all in 40 days!